In an ideal world, you could go skiing without having to carry anything with you.
But that’s unrealistic because you’ll always need to ensure you have important items in your bag – your helmet and goggles, a snack to tide you on the lift, and maybe something to take the edge off 😏, so the ski pack you choose needs to have good capacity. Before we get into the details, take a look at our favorites.
✅ Whopping 50-liter capacity
✅ Three separate and individual compartments and multiple pockets
✅ Attach your skis and even your snowboard with the use of external and adjustable webbing.
❌ There are no drain holes or vent for your boots.
✅ Made with a strong 600D polyester, and a water-repellent finish.
✅ Goggle pocket lined with fleece to prevent scratches on your eyewear.
✅ Bonus: Dakine fidget tool. The perfect pocket tool for emergency repairs and adjustments.
❌ It only has 25-liter capacity.
✅ Showshed fabric back panel that comes with a removable lid.
✅ Comes with bungee tie-offs so you can pack your ice tools with ease.
✅ There’s a daisy chain on the front panel so you can attach extra gear to it
❌ Some battled to make use of the helmet net.
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🙋♂️So, you might ask, what’s a good ski pack capacity for me?
If you’re just carrying essentials, you could get away with a 20-liter capacity, but off-piste adventures require larger capacities of 40 liters or more because you need more storage space for all your gear.
While ski pack capacity is important, it’s just one factor to consider. There are other features that a high-quality ski pack should offer you. With that in mind, let’s view the best ski packs reviewed for 2021.
Best Ski Packs – Reviews & Buying guide for 2021
- Unigear Ski Boot Bag
- Athalon Everything Boot Bag
- Dakine Heli Pro Backpack
- Osprey Mutant 38 Mountaineering Pack
- Osprey Kresta 40 Women’s Ski Backpack
Best Overall: Unigear Ski Boot Bag
With excellent capacity, this Unigear ski boot bag will ensure you never leave anything behind. Here’s why it’s one of the best backcountry ski packs.
- 3 individual compartments
- Back-panel door
- This boot bag has a whopping 50-liter capacity, so you can store a variety of items in it, such as your boots, goggles, clothing, helmets, and more.
- It has three separate and individual compartments as well as pockets, which will ensure your items are properly organized for easy retrieval when you need them.
- This bag enables you to attach your skis and even your snowboard with the use of external and adjustable webbing.
- Its back-panel door can be turned down and used as a standing mat – this enables you to change your boots without getting your feet dirty or wet.
- Not only is this bag strong, but it’s also waterproof. It’s been made with materials such as 1050D nylon and tarpaulin. The bottom of the bag contains waterproof lining.
- The tarpaulin is also resistant to temperature changes.
- Some people have reported issues with the backpack: there are no feet on the bottom of the bag to protect it when you rest it down on surfaces.
- There are no drain holes or vent for your boots.
- You could easily store your valuables in this bag, thanks to how it’s padded.
- The back panel is made out of padded mesh to prevent your boots from knocking into your back.
- This backpack has padded straps that can be adjusted, so you can feel more comfortable when wearing it.
If you’re looking for the perfect ski pack, this one should be right at the top of your list. With 50-liter capacity and features that make carrying it and using it much more comfortable, you can’t go wrong. You can get it in a variety of colors, such as black, blue, grey, green, and red.
Runner Up: Athalon Everything Boot Bag/Backpack
This is one of the most comfortable backpacks you’ll find on the market, while its excellent capacity makes it one of the best ski day packs. Let’s check it out!
- Zipper closure
- MP3 pocket
- Pocket clips
- This bag is made out of durable polyester.
- It’s got a zipper closure to keep your valuable items safe.
- You can easily pack all your must-have ski gear in this bag, thanks to how it has 58.5-liter capacity.
- The bag has ventilated side pockets for your boots. This prevents the accumulation of moisture inside the bag.
- It also has a central compartment to keep your clothing and helmet safe.
- It comes with a nifty MP3 pocket with headphone port.
- The pockets have clips so that you can keep small accessories, such as keys, that have a tendency to get lost.
- The backpack’s straps are padded to make them more comfortable to wear.
- To increase its comfort, this bag contains four padded back pads. It’s also easy to carry, thanks to how it contains front and top carry handles.
- The bottom of the bag is waterproof PVC.
- Some people have reported issues with the bag’s top handle, stating that it came loose from the bag.
- Others have said that they received the bag in a color they didn’t order.
- This backpack comes with bottom drainage grommets. These help to drain snow so that moisture and water won’t seep into your bag.
- As a nice extra touch, the bag comes with reflective piping to keep you visible no matter the weather conditions. This is an important safety feature you’ll appreciate.
This bag comes in 39 different colors – you’re sure to find the one that reflects your personality! It costs $69.99, but it’s the only ski pack you’ll ever need.
Best Backcountry Ski Packs: Dakine Mission Backpack (25L) & Dakine Fidget Tool Bundle
This backpack can be carried vertically for your snowboard and diagonally as a ski pack, so it’s versatile. Let’s check out its other features in greater detail.
- 600D polyester
- Hydration sleeve
- Laptop sleeve
- This bag has been made with a strong 600D polyester, and it has a water-repellent finish.
- It has a goggle pocket that is lined with fleece to prevent scratches on your eyewear.
- It comes with a non-padded sleeve where you can store your laptop – it will accommodate most laptops that are 15 inches in size.
- It comes with a Dakine fidget tool. The perfect pocket tool for emergency repairs and adjustments.
- It only has 25-liter capacity. This might not be enough. If you’re going on backcountry trips that last all day, you’d need at least 30 to 40 liters that will ensure you have enough supplies with you.
- Some people have stated that an issue with this bag is that it has a very narrow bottom, so when you put your items inside its padded back panel tends to fold under the bag’s bottom.
- People have said that the backpack stayed on when carried.
- Others have praised how it’s waterproof.
- The bag comes with a convenient hydration sleeve so you won’t forget to pack your water reservoir ever again.
This backpack is bit more expensive than other backpacks we’ve featured in our reviews so far, it’s one of the best small ski packs. It’s a very versatile backpack that you can use wherever you are, whether at college, work, or on the slopes.
Best Ski Mountaineering Pack: Osprey Mutant 38 Mountaineering Pack
When choosing the best ski mountaineering pack, you need to ensure that it will keep you safe while also offering you comfort – this Osprey Mutant ski pack ticks all the right boxes. Here’s what you should know about it.
- Snowshed fabric
- Daisy chain
- Rope attachment
- This Osprey pack has a Showshed fabric back panel that comes with a removable lid. Snowshed is a merino wool clothing brand.
- The backpack comes with bungee tie-offs so you can pack your ice tools with ease.
- There’s a daisy chain on the front panel so you can attach extra gear to it, making it versatile for beginners because as you become more advanced you’ll be able to use the backpack for more gear.
- It comes with a hydration sleeve that can fit a three-liter water reservoir.
- This backpack has a convenient rope attachment.
- You can carry your helmet in the way that’s most comfortable, as the backpack allows you to carry it on the front or top.
- You don’t want to waste time fumbling with your bag’s buckles when you’re wearing gloves. This backpack prevents that from happening because it has glove-friendly buckles.
- It comes with a hip belt that has gear loops behind the backpack so you have easier access to your harness whenever you need it.
- Some people who have purchased this ski pack have reported that they battled to make use of the helmet net.
- This backpack has a three-point haul system so you can secure and haul your bag with greater ease.
- It comes with quick-release compression straps.
This bag is currently out of stock on Amazon, but you can purchase it from the Osprey website. It’s a must to have with you when you’re navigating the mountain, thanks to its features that pay attention to detail and give skiers exactly what they need in a ski pack.
Best Women’s Ski Pack: Osprey Kresta 40 Women’s Ski Backpack
This is another ski pack by Osprey, so it’s the perfect gift for the adventurous woman in your life who enjoys skiing. Here’s why.
- Dual-zippered back panel
- Avalanche safety pocket
- Reinforced carry handles
- This Osprey Kresta backpack has dual-zippered back panel to give you easy access to its main compartment.
- It has a hydration sleeve that comes with an insulated and zippered harness router. You can fit a water reservoir that’s up to three liters. The insulated harness sleeve ensures that your bite valve doesn’t get clogged up with ice.
- The backpack’s front panel is extra large. From it, you can gain access to what’s known as the avalanche safety pocket. This is the perfect place to store your avalanche safety gear, such as probe sleeves and a shovel handle.
- It’s strong and secure, thanks to its reinforced ski carry loops and carry straps on its upper side.
- The above feature gives the backpack a strong A-frame ski carry, but you can also use it vertically to carry a snowboard.
- The hip belt pockets are dual articulated and zippered – this means that you can easily use one hand to open them.
- Beneath the removable top-lid and dual-compartment of the backpack, there’s a rope compression strap. This comes in really handy when you’re dealing with glacier travel.
- For the ultimate convenience, the hip belt is padded. The shoulder straps are also contoured.
- The bag stays ice-free when you rest it down on the ground, thanks to the back panel being zippered so you don’t get moisture or ice inside it.
- Some people who have purchased this backpack have reported issues with the back panel, stating that they can’t access it without first unbuckling the bag’s shoulder straps.
- The bag comes with a scratch-free goggle pocket to keep your eyewear safe and secure.
- It has a helmet net that not only keeps your helmet safe but can also be accessed quickly and without a fuss.
- All the zipper pulls and buckles on this backpack are glove-friendly.
This bag comes in blue, red, or grey. You can also choose between different sizes: x-small/small and small/medium.
Ski Packs FAQ
Now that we’ve looked at the best ski packs on the market, let’s look at some important questions about ski packs, such as how to choose the best one that will last you a long time and keep you comfortable when you’re on the slopes.
How to pick a ski pack?
If you want to buy a ski pack, it’s important to look for one that has all the important features you need. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Choose the right size
You need to ensure that your backpack has the right capacity for what you want to use it for. As a general rule, between 10 and 20 liters will be sufficient for lift-served side country, heli-skiing, or cat-skiing.
If you’re going on a longer day tour, you’ll need capacity of between 20 and 35 liters. If you’re going on multi-day hut touring or you’ll be staying overnight at a winter camp, you want a capacity of between 35 and 55 liters.
Finally, between 60 and 70 liters is good if you’re going on a long mountaineering trip where you’ll be setting up a camp as you’ll require additional gear.
Think about its weight
You can find ski packs that range from two pounds to around six or seven pounds.
If you want to be able to move quickly without being weighed down, such as when descending, you’ll want to choose a lighter pack. Bear in mind that if you’re adding an airbag, this will obviously increase your weight.
Look at its comfort features
You want a ski pack that will feel as comfortable as possible because you’ll be lugging it around. You want a pack with a strong back panel, contoured or padded shoulder straps, a hip belt, and other features.
The ski packs we’ve featured in this buying guide have some awesome comfort features, such as the Unigear Ski Boot Bag that has padded and adjustable straps.
Choose easy-access packs
When you ski, you’ll find that you’ll want to have access to your bag on a regular basis, so that’s why you should have a backpack that comes with multiple access points. A top zip comes in handy when you need to get snacks or water.
You also want lots of compartments and pockets, and it sure helps to have some extras, such as a goggle compartment that is soft and scratch-resistant.
Scrutinize the bottom of the bag
It’s common for the bottom of your ski pack to become torn or scuffed, so you want to ensure that you find a ski pack that has a reinforced or padded bottom.
It also helps to choose one that has feet on the bottom of the bag to protect it when you rest it down. The Unigear backpack we featured on our list of reviews has a bottom with a waterproof lining so that you don’t have to worry about water getting into it.
How to pack a ski bag?
Packing your ski bag properly will help you a lot to ensure better organization when you’re on a ski trip. Here are some important packing tips to bear in mind.
- Use the smaller compartments for small items that you don’t want to lose, such as your gloves and goggles. Choose a backpack with a goggle compartment as this usually contains a soft lining to keep them free of scratches.
- Fold your base layers of clothing by rolling them up and stacking them. Then, fold your socks over the rolls. This keeps your items together and saves space in your ski pack because you can fit these rolls in your ski boots!
- Put your skis at the bottom of the bag, then put your ski boots on top. It’s a good idea to make them fit together in the way you would store shoes in a shoebox. Put the boots on one end of the ski bag.
- Next, pack your ski jacket and snow pants on top of each other on the other end of the bag.
- Use your helmet to store your small items, such as your ski goggles, gloves, and buff. However, if you choose a ski pack such as the Dakine Heli Pro Backpack that we featured in our reviews, this comes with a designated goggle pocket to keep your eyewear safe and organized.
- Use socks to wrap the tips of your skis when packing them in your bag. This is easier than wasting space by using padding material such as foam rubber. Once you’ve wrapped them, bundle some t-shirts or other items between them to give them further protection.
What to pack for a ski trip?
Now that you know how to pack your ski pack, you need to know what you should put in your bag. Here’s a rundown of some of the most important items and essentials to take with you, organized according to categories.
- Thermal base layers
- Fleece layer
- Wool jersey
- Ski jacket
- Thick socks
- Casual clothing for when you’re off the snow
- Skis or snowboard
- Ski boots
- Ski poles
- External battery pack
- First-aid kit
- Rescue whistle
Don’t forget to pack your sunscreen as the UV rays can be harsh! You’ll also be glad you brought some Chapstick to prevent dry, cracked lips from icy temperatures and freezing wind.
If you’re staying in the skiing location overnight, you’ll also want to ensure you’ve packed all your important hygiene products.
Don’t forget, if you want to stay warm, make sure to pack adhesive hand and foot warmers. These generate heat to keep your extremities warm or bring them back to life after being exposed to the intense cold.
👆Pro Tip: For riding chairlift as a skier or snowboarder, always board the lift with the pack on your lap. Otherwise you’ll end up like this guy. Don’t end up like this guy:
If you’re going on a skiing trip, you’ll need to bring many items with you – probably more than what you think you’ll need.
For that reason, the first item you should purchase is a ski pack. In this article, we’ve featured five of the best ski packs reviewed for 2021 that not only store your valuables and snow gear but also add some extra touches for comfort and safety when you’re out there on the slopes.
We’ve also answered some questions you might have about ski packs, such as when it comes to how to pack them, what to put in them when you’re jet-setting to a skiing location, as well as what features to look for if you’re buying a ski pack for the very first time.
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